Backcountry Safety

Exploring the backcountry terrain around Sun Peaks Resort comes with both risk and reward. We recommend guests remain in-bounds at all times for their safety and, if you are accessing the backcountry, ask that you please do so from outside the ski area boundary. 

If you do decide to explore the backcountry it’s important that you are well prepared before venturing out. Please review the information below regarding safety in the backcountry and after hours hazards in the resort:

Be Prepared

  • Avalanche Training. Taking an avalanche safety course is an important first step if you plan to explore the backcountry. An Avalanche Skills Training 1 (AST 1) course is the minimum pre-requisite you should complete before heading beyond the boundary.
  • Conditions. As part of your planning, check conditions and the avalanche forecast at www.avalanche.ca before heading out.
  • Equipment. Make sure you have the correct equipment before you go. This includes a transceiver, shovel, probe, extra clothing, food and water, communication devices, and emergency supplies. 
  • Travel Partners. Don't enter the backcountry alone. Ensure all members of your group have the appropriate equipment and the training to use it.
  • Communicate. Let others know when and where you are going, as well as when you plan to return.

Ski Area Boundary

  • The in-bounds terrain at Sun Peaks Resort poses little risk of avalanches, however this all changes once you enter backcountry areas outside of the ski area boundary. The ski area boundary is identified by a double rope line and is clearly marked on the Sun Peaks Resort trail map. 
    Ski Area Boundary at Sun Peaks Resort
  • Persons going beyond the ski area boundary do so at their own risk. They assume all liability and responsibility for their own safety.
  • Uphill skiing/skinning is not permitted within the ski area boundary.
  • If you are returning from the backcountry via the in-bounds area of Sun Peaks Resort you must do so by 3:45pm. This will ensure you are safely off the mountain prior to Patrol sweeps and before grooming and other evening operations begin.
  • If you are delayed and return in-bounds after 3:45pm please call Patrol Dispatch on 250.578.5521 prior to proceeding downhill. Dispatch will identify a safe descent route for you. If you are unable to connect with Dispatch, you can contact a member of our grooming team at 250.319.5028 as a backup.
  • Winch-assisted grooming cats work on-mountain overnight, and pose a serious hazard to skiers and snowboarders. Active winch cats are identified with the following on-mountain signage:
    Sun Peaks Winch Cat Sign
    If you encounter a winch cat or this signage while on the slopes stop immediately, then contact Patrol Dispatch or the grooming team via the numbers listed above. If you are unable to reach anyone at these numbers, you should remain in place until you can make visual and verbal contact with the winch cat operator to establish a safe route around the equipment. Once communication has been established proceed away from the area with caution.

Motorized Vehicles

  • Snowmobiling inside the Sun Peaks Resort boundary or Controlled Recreation Area (CRA) is not permitted at any time. Truck parking and snowmobile access is available from parking lot 6. From there follow the designated route out of the ski resort area and CRA to access the backcountry. For more information please review our Snowmobile/ORV Access Guide

For more information on backcountry safety visit www.avalanche.ca.

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